Aamir Khan alongside Liu Guoliang, former coach of China's national table tennis team. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
Hindi film Secret Superstar, which stars Aamir Khan in a supporting role, makes more money in China within days of its release than it did in India.
Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan's Secret Superstar earned more in China within days of its release than it did in totality in India.
Khan's latest film topped China's box-office charts for five days since Jan 19, raking in around 250 million yuan ($39 million).
Although the 150-minute film is longer than the usual length of films most Chinese moviegoers are comfortable with, its story won over many local fans.
Reviews from netizens have accumulated in high scores on popular websites, such as 8.0 points out of 10 on Douban and 9.5 on the box-office tracker Maoyan.
Set in Vadodara, a large city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, Secret Superstar centers on Insia Malik, a 14-year-old Muslim girl who strives to realize her dream of becoming a singer, with the support of her mother. Her father disapproves of her ambition and habitually hits her mother.
Teenage actress Zaira Wasim, who debuted in Khan's earlier movie Dangal, which is among the top movies of all time in the Chinese box office, plays the protagonist in Secret Superstar, while Khan plays a quirky pop musician who helps the girl realize her dream.
Most Chinese netizens say they shed tears watching the film despite the story seeming cliched as it unfolds with a series of easy-to-guess plot twists.
"It's a typical Khan production. The story looks like a follow-up of Khan's television talk show Satyamev Jayate (Truth Alone Triumphs) and his daughter-themed films," says the netizen Qingtong Xiaoshou, whose review has been marked as "useful" by more than 1,000 people on Douban.
"Khan again proves his charm. The movie is very entertaining and thought-provoking."